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The secret party boat docked on Newtown Creek is no more. Last week, fire officials shut down the illegal live/party/work space and cited the residents onboard for living on an abandoned vessel.

The boat, docked in Bushwick, was vacated by firefighters Friday after a tip that people were illegally on board. Photo: NYC OEM via WABC New York

The New York Post: A group of hipsters living on a ferry converted to a squatter-style crash pad — and floating off Brooklyn — has been booted by FDNY officials.

Ten artists who had set up a Jacuzzi on the boat’s massive deck were ordered to pack up their paintings aboard the craft in Maspeth Creek in Williamsburg on Friday, sources said. Authorities cited them for living on an abandoned vessel.

Photo by Jaya Saxena via Gothamist

The drifters had rigged electricity and a makeshift plumbing system in the four-floor, 145-foot-long boat, which sometimes hosted all-night parties in the industrial area, sources familiar with the situation said.

The denizens built bedrooms and paid to dock the boat at 190 Morgan Ave., sources said.

Photo by Jaya Saxena via Gothamist

Built in 1978, the 650-passenger ferry, dubbed the Schamonchi, had hauled tourists from New Bedford, Mass., to Martha’s Vineyard on $17 round trips for years.

Photo by Jaya Saxena via Gothamist

By 2007, five residents had begun docking the vessel in New York City waterways, where they fashioned a swing on the tennis-court-sized deck and sometimes threw bonfire parties.

The property at 190 Morgan, where the boat is docked, is listed as belonging to the firm Mega Fortune. The firm’s owner said she hadn’t given the boat’s residents permission to dock there. Read more here…

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

Pier 17. Most of us have little love for the hulking shopping mall filled with I heart NY buttons and spiral neon straws that sits on Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport. Most locals rarely enter the space unless they are looking for the restrooms. But some will sorely miss that old, red barn.

Naima Rauam, long-time WHC member and friend, has painted in her studio on the 2nd floor of the behemoth mall since 2005, and has lived and worked in the seaport district for more than 30 years. Now, she has to move.

Naima Rauma, Maritime Artist.
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

Downtown Express: Artist Naima Rauam has been painting and sometimes living in the South Street Seaport for 30 years, but now it’s time to say good-bye. Pier 17, where she has had a studio since 2005, will close on Sept. 9 prior to being torn down. Rauam’s gallery on the second floor of Pier 17 will also close.

Pier 17. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

Curbed: Hidden on the second floor of this building is one of the neighborhood’s last living connections to the South Street Seaport’s past. Her name is Naima Rauam, and she has been documenting the history of the Seaport for over 45 years through her paintings and drawings. “I came here in 1966 as an arts student,” said Rauam, who has maintained a studio in the mall since 2005.

With a panoramic view of the Brooklyn Bridge, she is able to paint while looking out over a neighborhood that is currently stuck in a post-Sandy limbo. A neighborhood that has changed irrevocably in the past decade, and that will soon change again thanks to her landlord, The Howard Hughes Corporation.

The Fulton Market Building (right) remains empty, after being severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

Rauam and all of the tenants of Pier 17 have until September 9 to close down their businesses. Then the building will be shuttered in preparation for its demolition. “I am on the verge of leaving the neighborhood and am kind of in shock,” said Rauam. “Unfortunately, because of all the storm damaged buildings, I can’t find a space.”

Still shuttered a year after the storm. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

The newer section of the Fulton Fish Market was built in 1939 and is located next to the Pier 17 mall. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

“Before Sandy hit, we were the most bustling, up-and-coming neighborhood.” says Amanda Zink owner of The Salty Paw on Peck Slip. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

Downtown Express: The windows of Rauam’s gallery on Pier 17 frame the Brooklyn Bridge, which has inspired some of her recent work. After Pier 17 closes down, Rauam will be working from her apartment on the Lower East Side.

Two Naima Rauam paintings of the Fulton Fish Market. Photo: ©Nathan Kensinger/Curbed

“I don’t have a sense of where to go so I don’t think it’s going to benefit me just to go someplace at random,” she said. “I looked at studio space last week and I went inside and I said, you know, this has no connection to me. I don’t feel anything. There’s no reason for me to be here. I could be here or in Brooklyn or the Bronx or in Kansas. I don’t just want to stumble into a space that may or may not work. I want to finish my Seaport work at home. I have some commissions to do — and then see what kind of new direction I want to take.”

Pier 17 replacement. Rendering: Howard Hughes Corp /SHoP Architects via Capital NY

Curbed: The entire mall will be closed on September 9th and emptied for a “complete renovation,” according to the Howard Hughes Corporation. Their new mall is scheduled to open in 2015.

by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee

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